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Opening Doors for Children & Families

Farewell, Mandel

On Tuesday, May 21, Mayor Stephen Mandel announced he will not be seeking re-election and will be retiring from civic politics. Mayor Mandel has spent 12 years at city hall, has served 3 terms for a total of 9 years as Mayor of our great city.

On behalf of ABC Head Start I would like to reflect on his time as a courageous leader and champion of Edmonton. Mayor Mandel understood and represented ALL Edmontonians. He had a vested interest in making this city the best it could be for all citizens. He understood poverty and the struggles low-income families face every day and worked hard to break down barriers. He listened, he had a passion for human rights, and he sincerely cared about the children of Edmonton.

Mayor Mandel was a huge supporter of ABC Head Start over the years and we deeply appreciate all he has done for our agency. He rarely passed up an invite to an event, to be a guest speaker, to present a back pack to our children at our annual Literacy Backpack Day. He invited us to tables to share our successes and challenges, and looked for opportunities to improve. He asked us to constantly reflect on how we could make a difference in our communities.

But no matter what was on the agenda, it all took a back seat to the children. When Mayor Mandel showed up to an ABC Head Start event he was most often found, in his suit, on the floor with the children. Reading them stories, engaging with them, playing with them. He often told us this was the highlight of his year, to have the opportunity to spend time with the children and this was evident by the twinkle in his eye as the children pulled him around the classroom proudly showing him their artwork, toys, and books.

Thank you, Mayor Mandel for all you have done for the city of Edmonton, for children and families, and for ABC Head Start.

ABC Head Start Society is a registered charity which has been committed to promoting and supporting strong children, families, and communities in Edmonton for over 30 years. We know that by giving children the best possible early learning and development opportunities in life, we ensure the future well-being and prosperity of our families and communities.